What is Gerd or Acid Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Gerd), also known as acid reflux is a condition in which the acid in the stomach is forced up into the esophagus often causing great pain and discomfort.
There are several potential causes for this condition including such things as an esophagus that contracts abnormally or a stomach that empties slower than normal.
These conditions could be due to a damages stomach and could cause severe damage and burns to the esophagus lining.
Acid Reflux is more prominent and painful when lying down at night. The body is lying down leaving behind all the hard work for the acid of climbing up the esophagus. It can easily creep up and make sleeping nearly impossible.
There are several ways of avoiding the burn of acid reflux. The one that is the most permanent and works most effectively is a change in the way you eat and in fact the way you sleep.
To stop or lessen the effects of acid reflux when sleeping you should try to keep your head somewhat elevated. This will make the job of climbing up the esophagus more difficult for the acid thanks to gravity.
Diet and Acid Reflux
In addition to altering your sleeping positions many find results by changing their diet. There are several food types that seem to aggravate reflux due to a reduction in pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter.
If you have been diagnosed with GERD, your doctor will suggest that you avoid the following:
- fatty foods,
- alcoholic beverages,
- citrus fruits and juices,
- tomato products,
- pepper and
These weaken the lower esophageal sphincterwhich causes the Acid Reflux in the first place.
In addition to choosing the appropriate foods you should also change your eating schedule.
If you are used to a large meal at the end of the day you might consider a smaller meal earlier in the evening.
The reason for this is that your body has a chance to move the food from the stomach to be digested thereby eliminating it as a pressure to cause the reflux.
Learning the process of avoiding the burn of acid reflux might take a bit of time but will be well worth the effort. Taking stock in what you eat both at home and when you are out is a vital part of reducing symptoms of acid reflux.
For those suffering from this issue, the symptoms of acid reflux can be debilitating. Understanding how the foods you eat affect your body is the best way to conquer the pain of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
More than 60 million people over the age of 50 (and some pregnant women) experience Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) at least once a month. The most common symptom is heartburn, a burning feeling behind the breastbone.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Unlike pain associated with heart disease, heartburn pain is not usually associated with exercise, and becomes more acute when you lie down and after eating.
It is caused when the muscle connecting the esophagus with the stomach (lower esophageal sphincter – LES) is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.
The stomach contents can cause the burning sensation called heartburn because stomach contents are acidic, and the lining of the esophagus is not protected from acid.
Your doctor may also recommend losing weight, eating meals at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, reducing the size of portions at mealtime, and elevating the head of your bed on 6-inch blocks, or sleeping on a specially-designed wedge.
Nonprescription antacids can provide temporary or partial relief.
For chronic reflux and heartburn, your doctor may prescribe medications. H2 blockers, which inhibit acid secretion in the stomach, relieve symptoms in up to 70% of patients with GERD.
If H2 blockers are not effective, your doctor may prescribe proton-pump inhibitors, which decrease the acid in the stomach. As with all conditions, follow your doctor’s advice and make the lifestyle changes he or she has recommended. Take your medication as directed. If you have followed these measures, but your heartburn returns, consult with your doctor.